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Smooth Operations
The Wilmer ORs and IT serve as a model for working together.


Hopkins' WIPES campaign
David Li with the perioperative tracker.

The system that was put into place several years ago to organize Hopkins’ far-flung operating rooms was not entirely free of technical difficulties. For some users, the LCD displays were not big enough. Others weren’t satisfied with the system’s reporting capabilities. But as bugs are being worked out across some parts of the institution, one pocket serves as a model for how well the system can work when people come together: the Wilmer ORs.

The Operating Room Management Information System, better known as ORMIS, serves multiple functions. It schedules cases electronically to avoid conflicts. It has cut down on paperwork for nurses when they document care. It manages doctors’ preferences for various scalpels, clamps and retractors. And it serves as a perioperative tracker, or case monitor, as it keeps tabs in a color-coded display on where patients are in the surgery process. Have they gone into the OR? Has the anesthesia been started?

This particular feature has been a lifesaver in the Wilmer Eye Care Pavilion, where patients get prepped on one floor and have surgery on another. It used to take a series of phone calls and manual coordination to organize each case. Now, with a quick click or two, staff can figure out where the ORs stand and transport patients between the two floors more efficiently.

“The staff loves this system and agrees that we would be lost without it,” says Shailaja Chopde, head nurse of the pavilion.

Nurses also are fond of other aspects of the system. ORMIS can chart the supplies that are used for a case and manage inventory through the SAP system.  It also has interfaces for hospital and professional fee charges.

ORMIS replaced three disparate information systems, as well as some paper processes, that were once spread across Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and Wilmer at Green Spring Station. “Now we’ve got one homogenous system across the house,” says David Li, systems development manager for Clinical Information Systems. “But our mission with ORMIS was also to improve processes and, therefore, patient care.”

Li says there was more than one secret to Wilmer’s success. The institute has only six ORs (as opposed to 38 in the General and Weinberg ORs). It also kept an open mind while working with Johns Hopkins Medicine Center for Information Services.  Working with neuro-ophthalmologist and former clinical leader for ORMIS Neil Miller, Li and his team of analysts figured out what Wilmer’s operational needs were. “There was no disruption to Wilmer’s main processes,” Li concludes, “and we worked together to creatively say, This is how we can make the most of this system that we’ve put a lot of money and time and energy into.”  




Johns Hopkins Medicine

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